With animal control tickets about to ramp back up in Seattle, this group wants a dog park in Cal Anderson

Most mornings and afternoons, Cal Anderson is a dog park. Volunteer Park, too. But the chaos of the pandemic is about to give ground to the order of Seattle City Hall and a group of Capitol Hill dog owners is frustrated with the options.

“During the pandemic we have paused issuing citations, but as our county is in Phase 3 and seeing more public recreational activity, citations will likely resume in the near future,” a Seattle Parks spokesperson tells CHS. There’s no date — yet — for resumption, but tickets are coming soon for owners allowing dogs to run free in city parks or on forbidden ground like Cal Anderson’s Bobby Morris playfield turf.

Cal Anderson, meanwhile, is in the middle of community and city discussions that began in the wake of CHOP and have continued with groups and advocates working to take on new projects around the park — though progress on providing outreach resources, or resources like phone charging stations, rain shelters for mutual aid providers hasn’t kept up with smaller efforts like clean-ups and new decorative lighting. The busy park serves a lot of needs. Adding room for a dog park for neighbors living around the green space does not seem likely to be one of them. Continue reading

Capitol Hill parks notes: New Ribbon of Light in Cal Anderson, why the Volunteer Park Reservoir is drained, and when you can climb the water tower again

A rendering of a component from the Ribbon of Light installation part of the new AIDS Memorial Pathway between Cal Anderson and Capitol HIll Station (Image: The AMP)

Seattle sunshine and a nicer than average Pacific Northwest spring means a CHS inbox overflowing with questions about Capitol Hill’s parks. You have a questions. Here are a few answers.

  • Why are there new construction fences in Cal Anderson? Sorry, no, it’s not a new dog park. Work is beginning on the north end of the park to install new art installations We’re Already Here and Ribbon of Light for the AIDS Memorial Pathway: Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Seattle Asian Art Museum set for May reopening

(Image: Seattle Asian Art Museum)

Most people have never seen the overhauled and expanded Seattle Asian Art Museum in person. The Volunteer Park museum shuttered in mid-March 2020 as COVID-19 numbers climbed. Only weeks earlier that February, the building had reopened after three years of closure and construction to overhaul and expand the museum.

Starting May 28th, SAAM will be ready to welcome visitors again: Continue reading

What the duck! Capitol Hill waterfowl question Seattle Parks over anti-duckling measures at Volunteer Park lily ponds

No anti-duck mesh — yet — on the north pond (Image: CHS)

Ducks hate this mesh (Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill area waterfowl are outraged over a new effort by Seattle Parks to improve the Volunteer Park lily ponds which, apparently, “were never intended to serve as duck ponds.”

New mesh wire has been securely installed to block the spaces of the lily pond fence that surrounds the northernmost of the twin Volunteer Park ponds. Seattle Parks hasn’t responded yet to our inquiry but it sounds like new mesh will also be added to the southern pond.

“The two small ponds at Volunteer Park were never intended to serve as duck ponds,” a Seattle Parks representative from the office of Superintendent Jesús Aguirre wrote in a response to a community member’s email complaint about the anti-duck mesh shared with CHS. “But over the years, ducks have used the ponds, and the duck population has increased dramatically.”

This is where it gets dark. Content warning: sad duckling details from the city — Continue reading

Memorial grows outside Seattle Asian Art Museum following vigil against racial hate and violence

Seattle Art Museum officials and community representatives gathered Saturday morning for a vigil outside Capitol Hill’s Seattle Asian Art Museum for a moment of silence as part of a weekend memorial to the lives lost in anti-Asian violence following wave of increased hate crimes in the county.

“For me, it’s ironic that we’re meeting here today in front of the museum, because for me, the museum is a place of learning. I have learned so much about the history of this whole world, through all the beautiful artwork that people have created,” June Kubo, a member of SAM’s Education & Community Engagement Committee, said during a brief ceremony on the steps of the museum overlooking Volunteer Park. “It’s sort of like a window into the past, but more importantly, I’ve learned a lot about what people have done to each other, for the artists who have created exhibits that help us understand the inhumane treatment that we have put imposed upon others, just because they don’t look like us, or because they’re from different areas.”

“I’m hoping that more people can enjoy the museum and understand the, the tragedies that we’ve created for ourselves,” Kubo said. “And maybe we can learn from the past that we need to find ways to change things.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Seattle Asian Art Museum hosts weekend ‘Stop Asian Hate’ memorial

A community effort to honor the lives of the women of Asian descent killed in the Atlanta shootings and to stand up against a rise in hate crime against Asian American and Pacific Islander and Asian immigrant communities in Seattle and across the country will take place over the weekend on the steps of the Seattle Asian Art Museum in Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park.

The SAAM invites you to visit its steps for a personal moment of silence and to leave flowers or an offering at the site:

In recognition of these lives taken so violently, we invite you to take a moment of silence on the steps of the Asian Art Museum. A community memorial will be available for the public to contribute to and visit from Noon on Saturday, March 27, through 5 pm Sunday, March 28.

The 1400 E Prospect museum in the center of Volunteer Park remains shuttered after months of COVID-19 restricted closures but is hosting the memorial as it “stands united with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) and Asian immigrant families, friends, colleagues and communities locally and across the country, in the wake of rising violence against these communities over the last year.”

CHS reported here on the rise in racially motivated hate crimes in Seattle in 2020 as rhetoric about the “China virus” flared. Statistics show the problem has continued in 2021 as the King County Prosecutor’s office says it continues to charge more people in bias cases than ever before.


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‘Virtual groundbreaking’ marks starts of Volunteer Park amphitheater project

Decorated with one last rush of graffiti, the old brick Volunteer Park amphitheater is ready to tumble down so construction on a new $3 million stage can begin.

As the city reemerges from pandemic lockdown, the start of the Volunteer Park construction will be celebrated Monday with the Volunteer Park Trust’s “virtual” groundbreaking ceremony:

Amphitheater Groundbreaking
Monday, March 22nd — Noon
The Amphitheater project is underway at Volunteer Park! Join us for a virtual groundbreaking featuring our amazing community of supporters.

CHS reported here on the start of construction on the replacement project that will create a new outdoor performance facility with a roof, storage and green room space, all-gender bathrooms, upgraded electrical access, and “a resilient floor that will even accommodate dance performances.”

The new amphitheater will replace the current, crumbling concrete and brick structure, which has hosted performances, rallies, and events for five decades.


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Construction of $3M Volunteer Park amphitheater replacement project will begin next week with demolition of old stage

The Volunteer Park plaza home to the Black Sun sculpture is getting some work this week but the big construction project for the northern Capitol Hill green space will start next week.

A city representative tells CHS that the area around Isamu Noguchi’s sculpture was blocked off this week for an Office of Arts and Culture project to re-grout the stone surfaces of the surrounding plaza.

Next week, a much larger project begins. Crews will be in the park starting Monday to demolish the park’s old amphitheater as construction begins on the $3,000,000 replacement project that will create a new outdoor performance facility with a roof, storage and green room space, all-gender bathrooms, upgraded electrical access, and “a resilient floor that will even accommodate dance performances.” Continue reading

Small power outage near Volunteer Park after recycling truck tangles with wires

Thanks to a CHS reader for these pictures from the scene

A recycling truck’s tangle with wires just off E Aloha created a small power outage Wednesday afternoon south of Volunteer Park.

According to Seattle City Light, around 100 customers were without power starting around 4 PM.

Photos provided by a CHS reader showed a large recycling truck tangled in wires and a snapped off utility pole in the alley next to the Volunteer Park Seventh Day Adventist Church near 13th and Aloha.

Seattle City Light was still investigating the issue and no estimate for restoration of power was available.


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City beefs up Stay Health Streets signage

The city’s Stay Healthy Streets program to restrict motor vehicle traffic on select streets to create more open space during the pandemic is adding sturdier signs to help better protect people from drivers as they walk, bike, and roll.

The new signs aren’t exactly barriers but officials hope they will be less susceptible to breakage and loss as bad weather and bad drivers have taken a toll on the city’s collection of a-frame style signs deployed early in the pilot project. Continue reading